Engadget: Challenging Sony’s PlayStation 3D display, LG’s new LW980T “Dual Play” TV lets Xbox users see two different views on the same screen — ditching the standard split gaming view. Spotted this week at IFA, the technology requires a pair of snazzy all-right / all-left passive specs and a compatible 3D Xbox game to get two different 2D perspectives on one TV. (more…)
Gizmag: Retailers, hotels and real estate agents have been using aromas to entice us to part with our cash for years now and there have even been a few attempts to transmit smells via the internet and mobile phones. California-based company Scent Sciences is now looking to bring an olfactory dimension to computer games with its ScentScape personal digital scent delivery system.
Scent Sciences’ President and CEO, Bill Wiles, told Gizmag the ScentScape system uses a combination of hardware, software & algorithms and chemistry – all covered by patents – to produce the smells. The system consists of a unit that plugs into a PC or gaming console via USB and generates smells using scent cartridges.
Each cartridge provides 20 basic scents and last about 200 hours, depending on personal use. The scents come in standard, which produce a range of more general smells, or media-specific versions to suit particular games, with smell strength controlled via a “volume control”.
Wiles says that gamers will also be able to use the company’s SDK along with the ScentEditor application to create their own scent-enabled games. Players will even be able to share the code they have created with other gamers who have their own ScentScape system to allow them to enjoy their creation.
Similarly, the ScentScape system and ScentScape Editor can be used to add smells to home videos. Specific themed cartridges such as holiday, summer, ocean, etc. will also be available for this purpose, along with special cartridges for aromatherapy and other applications.
Scent Sciences was showing its ScentScape system at CES 2011 and will be introducing the ScentScape Gaming Suite at the Game Developers Conference 2011 in February, where it will be continuing talks with game and game platform developers regarding building ScentScape capabilities into games. Wiles says the company will also work with the game developers to develop scent cartridges to suit their particular games.
Scent Sciences plans to begin shipments of the ScentScape Gaming Suite later this year at a price yet to be announced.
Electronista: OnLive has launched its MicroConsole first seen in beta form earlier this year. The MicroConsole TV adapter connects to both your wired broadband connection and your TV allowing games to be ‘delivered’ instantly over the internet. The selling point of this console is that it theoretically never needs to be upgraded as the games are run server side, and not locally.
This means that the latest generation can always be delivered, bandwidth permitting with little or no lag. The system runs silently and delivers gaming in 1080p at 60fps over HDMI 1.3. Surround sound capability is expected in a firmware update next month. The update should also bring support for Bluetooth headsets so gamers can do in-gaming chatting.
The concept should also appeal to game developers as it takes out the middleman, prevents piracy and effectively stops games from being resold at the expense of consumers buying and paying for a new game at the full price. Games can be hired for 3-day or 5-day passes. Alternatively, console owners can purchase a Full PlayPass allowing them to have permanent access to the game.
The OnLive website is currently taking pre-orders for the device at $99, which includes a free game. Shipments are expected to start December 2.
Dvice: Forget how it sounds or if it cancels noise or whatnot, Astro Gaming’s A30 Cross-Gaming Headset has the kind of hook I never even knew I was looking for. As the name implies, a set of A30s comes with three different cable adapters that’ll work with pretty much any game console or handheld you’ve got, including the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC, iPhone, Nintendo DS or PSP, and you can even answer the phone with it. While that may not sound so useful at first, consider that consoles aren’t universal — the Xbox forces you to use a proprietary headset.
Other than its adaptability, the A30 has a dual mic: a roll-out one for playing games and Skype, as well as an inline mic for those aforementioned calls. The Astro A30 Cross-Gaming Headset supports Dolby 5.1 sound and ships for $150.
Tech-on: Toshiba Corp developed a headphone that is equipped with a brain-wave sensor and designed for consumer use.
The company exhibited the headphone at a press conference of the Continua Health Alliance, of which Toshiba is a member, Feb 17, 2010. The company expects the headphone to be used in the field of healthcare as a “device to visualize brain waves,” it said.
The headphone has a built-in Bluetooth unit and can be connected to a PC equipped with the Bluetooth dongle that comes with the headphone. By using accompanying software, “Brain-wave Visualizer,” measured data can be visualized. Specifically, it shows a diagram of brain waves and meters of a brain-wave level, concentration level and meditation level.
With the software, it is possible to check the user’s brain waves in real time and record them while he or she is listening music or watching video as well as to play a game by using brain waves. Read more…
Register Hardware: A trio of psychology reports examining the benefits of videogames have unanimously concluded that some titles can have positive effects on their players.
The research, which was released at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association in Boston, Massachusetts, found that people of all ages and from all walks can benefit from certain types of videogames, such as brain training and educational games.
For example, one research paper conducted by psychologists Fran Blumberg and Sabrina Ismailer from Fordham University, New York measured the ability of 122 fifth-, sixth- and seventh-grade US school children to problem solve while playing a videogame. The kids had to think aloud for 20 minutes, while playing the title, and researchers assessed their problem-solving ability by examining the types of “cognitive, goal-oriented, game-oriented, emotional and contextual statements” the young gamers made.
“Younger children may show a greater need for focusing on small aspects of a given problem than older children, even in a leisure-based situation such as playing video games,” concluded Blumberg.
Gaming Excellence: It seems universal acclaim from critics goes hand in hand with massive amounts of sales. GTA IV shifted 3.6 million its first day of sales which tallies up to a staggering $310 million. 6 million units in its first week, making the total $500 million plus. (…) Thus, GTA IV now sports a Guiness world record as the best-selling launch of any entertainment property. This means it has topped all music, movie, game, and other media, ever.
Slashgear: Check out this wiimote hack where someone took the guts of a wiimote and stuffed it inside an aluminum cut out of a real gun for a more realistic feel. It’s made from aluminum, not steel, as steel would be really heavy and prohibitive, but it’s equally cool.
The gentleman drilled out a spot for the battery and all the necessary Wiimote components. He also made a custom triggering mechanism that gave it that smooth, yet clicky feel using some Radio Shack switches to interface with the A and B buttons of the Wiimote.
HEXUS.gaming: According to Jeff Bell, the head of global marketing for Microsoft’s games business,Europe is set to be the key battleground in 2008 as Microsoft’s Xbox 360 and Sony’s Playstation 3 go head to head in a bid to grab a decent chunk of a business that is now globally worth a reported $30 billion.
“Europe for us is still the swing,” Bell said. “The biggest challenge is that Sony as a brand has had greater staying power than in other areas. Not just PlayStation 3, but Sony as a brand,” Bell said.
Following price drops, bundle deals and the launch of lower-end models, both companies have seen a significant surge in sales in the last quarter of 2007 and, in an interview with Reuters, Bell said that he believes Microsoft will have a successful 2008 and beat last year’s sales figures.
Microsoft has enjoyed their best year yet in terms of game sales, with the likes of Bioshock, Forza Motorsport 2, Mass Effect and Halo 3 flying off the shelves and spurring on sales of the Xbox 360. Sony on the other hand has suffered a rollercoaster ride of a year with a difficult start to the PS3 launch, thanks in no small part to the ridiculous price point and an initial range of fairly average games, but business is now significantly picking up for them and they’ve got a fair few eye-catching games coming up in the new year.